PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — General manager Chuck Fletcher isn’t done remaking the Flyers’ defense. The Flyers will sign veteran defenseman Keith Yandle to a one-year contract, according to multiple reports.
ESPN’s Kevin Weekes was the first to report the signing.
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— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) July 27, 2021
SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman reported it’s a one-year contract for $900,000, including a no-trade clause.
Yandle to PHI — 1 year, $900K, NTC. Forgot he has played for Vigneault, so knows the coach.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 27, 2021
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The 34-year-old Yandle comes to Philadelphia after spending the past five seasons with the Florida Panthers. The 15-year veteran tallied three goals and 27 points in 56 games last season.
Yandle previously played for Alain Vigneault with the New York Rangers in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Yandle would project to slot onto the Flyers’ third pairing, alongside another veteran, Justin Braun. Yandle would give Vigneault another option for the power play, and perhaps fill the void left by the Shayne Gostisbehere trade.
The signing would likely mean Cam York would begin the season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, but it should create a battle for the Flyers’ sixth defenseman spot in training camp.
In other words, Fletcher isn’t anointing York a guaranteed roster spot. The 2019 first-round pick will have to earn his spot if he’s going to make the team come October.
Yandle is the third defenseman the Flyers added in the past 10 days, joining Ryan Ellis and Rasmus Ristolainen, and is another veteran voice added to the locker room that has seen a leadership makeover.
“You know what, we just can’t keep bringing the same players back year after year and expect different results,” Fletcher said Saturday. “We had to make changes this year. The players that we’ve added are all, what I would call, high energy, competitive people. … We need to change the mood in the room and the energy in the room. It’s nothing against the players that we had here before. It’s about trying to create a new group, a new leadership group, new chemistry.”
The Flyers still need to add another goaltender and perhaps a bottom-six forward too.
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Free agency begins on Wednesday.
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